Magic: The Gathering Introduces New Elf Planeswalker From Kaldheim

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Wizards of the Coast already confirmed yesterday that the upcoming Norse mythology-inspired Magic: The Gathering set, Kaldheim will feature two returning planeswalkers (Tibalt and Kaya) and two new planeswalkers: Niko Aris and Tyvar Kell. We previously reported about the reveal of the first nonbinary planeswalker, Niko Aris; and now let's take a look at the elven planeswalker from the Viking plane of Kaldheim, Tyvar Kell.

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Credit: Wizards of the Coast
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Wizards of the Coast recently shared details about the development of Tyvar Kell's character and how different the elves in Kaldheim are compared to traditional fantasy elves.

Magic senior narrative designer Gerrit Turner reveals that: "Tyvar is King Harald's younger brother, and he's lived most of his life in his brother's shadow. However, while a famous brother might inspire jealousy or resentment in some, Harald's example inspires Tyvar to seek glory and fuels an irrational confidence that he can accomplish almost anything he puts his mind to. He's determined that his own story will rival (or exceed) the tales of Kaldheim's greatest heroes, and he's not shy about telling anyone who will listen about his heroic deeds. He's charismatic and cocky—some might even call him arrogant—but underneath the boasting he has a good heart and a generous spirit. Though he's certainly preoccupied with building his own legend, Tyvar has a peculiar relationship to fame: as he sees it, the rising tide of glory raises all boats. After an epic battle, he's just as likely to sing the praises of his allies as he is to brag about his own achievements (though you can be sure he'll do that, too). He's really a classic extrovert at heart who enjoys the camaraderie shared among warriors. He actively seeks out allies willing to fight by his side and share a drink (or three) to celebrate their glorious victory afterward."

Senior art director Cynthia Shepperd added: "Tyvar's playfulness and cheery boastfulness sets him apart from other elves, bucking trends of seriousness and inscrutability they demonstrate in most traditional fantasy. He's the kind of charismatic storyteller with whom anyone would want to share a horn of ale. Visually, there are some hallmarks of classic elves: long hair and ornate costuming. But like his personality, his unique features are loud and over the top. From his muscular frame to his bright auburn hair and tattoos, his quirky appearance says 'look at me!'"



They went on to talk about how Tyvar Kell is different compared to a typical elf. "It probably goes without saying that Tyvar is a formidable close-combat fighter," Turner said. "But what sets Tyvar apart from other elven warriors is the ability to transmute his own body and the environment around him. He can change natural substances (including himself) into other natural materials, provided that those materials are close by. This makes him especially aware of the natural world around him, and he has a special knack for using the environment to his advantage. He might cover himself in stony armor for protection, sprout thorns to escape a grapple, or even coat himself in molten lava (provided there was some handy, of course). Alternatively, he might also cause that same lava to cool, creating an obsidian path through treacherous terrain or causing the earth beneath an opponent's feet to sprout thorns. These are just examples; Tyvar's abilities are very flexible but limited by what kinds of natural terrain are immediately at hand. This makes Tyvar a natural improviser in combat, and he relishes the creativity battle requires."

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Credit: Wizards of the Coast

It looks like Tyvar Kell will play a significant role in the lore of Kaldheim, and I'm excited to see Wizards reveal the Planeswalker card that features him.

Kaldheim is set to release on February 5, 2021 for tabletop, and Jan. 28 on Magic Arena and Magic Online. Check out where to find all the Kaldheim previews here.